Monday, April 11, 2011

Blue Mesa

It's Blue Monday in the blog, and that's today's poem-a-day prompt, but I am not at all blue, and neither is the sky.

I have been re-reading Willa Cather, and am taken with this wonderful sentence, "His room opened onto the street, by a sky-blue door."  That's from "Tom Outland's Story," and so is this description of the mesa:

The Blue Mesa was one of the landmarks we always saw from Pardee--landmarks mean so much in a flat country. To the northwest, over toward Utah, we had the Mormon Buttes, three sharp blue peaks that always sat there. The Blue Mesa was south of us, and was much stronger in colour, almost purple. People said the rock itself had a deep purplish cast.  It looked, from our town, like a naked blue rock set down alone in the plain...

Sometimes I feel like a naked blue rock set down alone in the plain...

Later in the story, the sun comes up and goes down on the mesa:

It was light up there long before it was with us.  When I got up at daybreak and went down to the river to get water, our camp would be cold and grey, but the mesa top would be red with sunrise, and all the slim cedars along the rocks would be gold--metallic, like tarnished gold-foil. Some mornings it would loom up above the dark river like a blazing volcanic mountain. It shortened our days, too, considerably. The sun got behind it early in the afternoon, and then our camp would lie in its shadow. After a while the sunset colour would begin to stream up from behind it. Then the mesa was like one great ink-black rock against a sky on fire.

Oh, my. Gorgeous. I hope we can always see, care for, and appreciate such beauty here on our world. Cather is describing the Blue Mesa in New Mexico.  When I visit the National Park Service site for the Curecanti National Recreation Area of Colorado, I see that there will be no access to the Blue Mesa Reservoir in the case of a government shutdown.  Sigh... Numerous dilemmas. And I hope it is OK to share this beautiful picture of Blue Mesa Lake, which I found here.

I love "all the slim cedars..."  I love that "great ink-black rock against a sky on fire."


April 11 poem-a-day prompt:  Blue Monday


Nic Sebastian said...

Willa Cather rules! Thanks for this. N

Julie Kistler said...

"Sometimes I feel like a naked blue rock set down alone in the plain..."

Sing it, sister! Today I am a naked gray rock, though. I'm not vibrant enough to be blue!

Kathleen said...

Later, the sky turned blue, and I got a little bluer reading Cather...and then happy again in an unexplainable way.

Collagemama said...

I lived in Neihardt and Sandoz, and ate in Cather during college. Love the description of the sunrise and sunset from below the mesa. Reminds me of camping in the bottom of Palo Duro canyon after a March snow.